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Gordon Brown: 'It's a matter for the people'

Nick Robinson | 17:18 UK time, Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Gordon Brown has conceded for the first time that it is "a matter for the people" to decide whether Labour might have to share power with another party after the election.

In an interview after his speech promising constitutional reform I asked him whether he would, if necessary, work with other parties to keep the Conservatives out.

The prime minister replied "It's a matter for the people; now the people will make their decision in this election."

Pressed again about whether he would rule out working with another party he replied with the line you might have expected the first time - "I'm fighting for a victory".

Gordon Brown's comments reveal that he is having to think about how he would behave in the event of an uncertain election result - as per my earlier post.

I also asked him why he claimed that business leaders who condemn the planned National Insurance rise have been deceived; why he'd raised the issue of class and whether he'd stand down as prime minister after the election as Tony Blair had done.

Here is the transcript of part of the interview:

Robinson: "A big change in politics would be for someone like you to say if necessary 'I would share power, I would do it with another Party', would you work with other parties, if necessary to keep the Conservatives out?"
 
Brown: "It's back to what I said, it's a matter for the people. Now the people will make their decision in this election, before they do so, I think it would be premature for parties to be talking about anything other than what we are doing, and I want to (interrupts)..."
 
Robinson: "Are you prepared in those circumstances to say I don't rule out working with others, working with other parties?"

Brown: "I'm fighting for a victory, I'm fighting for, I believe, for a manifesto that is the right manifesto for the country" (interrupts)

Robinson: "Is there more that connects you and the Liberal Democrats say than the Conservatives?"

Brown: "Of course, of course, of course the Liberal Democrats support many of the constitutional reforms we are bringing in, and of course I want to see these constitutional reforms and I'm sorry that the Conservatives want to keep hereditary peers in the House of Lords. I'm also sorry they resisted any attempt to reform Parliament, and I think the notion that they have changed has been exposed every day by what they have failed to do. But in the end it's got to be the people that make the decision. We'll listen to what the people say, and I'm fighting for a manifesto that I believe is radical and bold. I personally take responsibility for saying that we've got to make these changes in the future so that we can ensure that politics is open and people see that public service is what it should be, and that's service to the public."

You can watch the interview here.

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Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Dead right

    Taxi for Brown!

  • Comment number 2.

    Is he angling for a vote for anybody to keep the Tories out plan,
    as he can see them racing away when the people wake up and smell the
    coffee ?

    So it safe to vote Lib and he may well be cooking a plan to govern with
    them, so long as the tories are not the biggest party by MP's or Votes
    , so he would like to see tactical voting from labour to Lib in the marginal ?

  • Comment number 3.

    Nick, where's your calls for Brown and anyone who votes for him to be publicly tortured and beheaded? Honestly - the pro-labour bias of the BBC grows worse by the day.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'd be keen to find out which parties would be up to sharing power with him.

    Simple enough.

    But important, come election day.

    And silence (or, more like, fudge) will be taken as consent. With all due consequences.

    Worth bearing in mind, in some quarters, I'd say.

  • Comment number 5.

    You've been asking the PM questions Nick? Excellent. Then could you get an answer to one he refused to answer at PMQs today? Nick, could you tell us why the BBC talked about pretty much everything that happened at PMQs, except the last question which Gordon Brown didn't even make any pretence at answering? I give you the excerpt from hansard. Oh, and it's in *Hansard*, it isn't covered by any D Notice, it isn't the subject of a police inquiry, and it *isn't* off topic. Nor does it breach your own house rules. So publish it please.

    "Q9. [325647] John Mason (Glasgow, East) (SNP): Given the allegations surrounding Glasgow city council and the demands for an inquiry—I believe that the idea of an inquiry is supported by former leader Steven Purcell and Labour businessman Willie Haughey—will the Prime Minister support such an investigation, or is he afraid that there is something to hide?"

    "The Prime Minister: The hon. Gentleman came down to this Parliament and he spent most of his time voting with the Conservative party. He should go back to Scotland and explain why, instead of voting for jobs, he is voting with the Conservative party in Parliament."

    Well Nick? Can we get some political inquiry from you? We know you're busy looking at Cameron's cycle helmet controversy and all, but don't you think the continued cover up of a major scandal in Labour's largest council merits at least a mention? More, don't you think the Prime Minister's flat refusal to answer the most basic point regarding it, at PMQs no less, merits a mention?

    Could you do your job please Nick? We pay you quite a lot to do it.

  • Comment number 6.

    Forgive me -a mere layman- but as this £6 billion doesn't actually exist until 2011, when employers start deducting it from workers pay, how is Cameron 'removing' it from the economy?
    Also, if Brown has already 'spent' it, is this another example of Labour spending money it is hasn't got?

    I've heard nothing from any of the major parties to attract my vote so far and if the Party leaders are merely going to carry on spouting mantras, then I'm off to the pub till May 6th.

  • Comment number 7.

    The Ogre will try to keep power by any means possible.

  • Comment number 8.

    Reformist zeal, after a mere thirteen years.

    Are congratulations in order? Or perhaps being unceremoniously booted out of Downing Street for inaction while in office, and opportunism when threatened with defeat, would be more appropriate.

    You decide.

  • Comment number 9.

    I think just by delaying the return of MPs till 18 May (normal period is one week after an election) Gorodon Brown has practically conceded that the people will elect a hung parliament. Why else would he need the extra negotiating time?
    In the case of a hung Parliament, Labour is very likely to find more common cause with the Lib Dems than the Conservatives.
    The real question is will the Lib Dems (especially Chris Huhne, who lost to Nick Clegg in the leadership race) ask Gordon Brown to step down as leader, and will Gordon Brown do so?
    Remember when the Labour Party and the Liberals both said they wouldn't serve under Neville Chamberlain because of his failed appeasement policy. They practiually demanded Winston Churchill.

    Only time will tell…

  • Comment number 10.

    "I also asked him ... whether he'd stand down as prime minister after the election as Tony Blair had done."

    I trust you added the slight point "if you win the election".

    Hopefully Brown will have no choice about stepping down after the election.

  • Comment number 11.

    This all sounds very incoherent to me. But incumbent PM's will do all they can to cling onto office. Many, including me, are old enough to remember Ted Heath trying to do a deal with the Liberals in 1974. This is hardly blog-grabbing stuff and really doesn't do much to give undecided voters themes on which to base their decision.

    Gordon Brown has only become a fan of constitutional reform as a result of the polls (opinion) that so far don't count.

    A better question would have been to ask Gordon Brown why he thinks he has served the nation's best interests by hanging on to power until virtually the last moment. The people will give him a verdict on that one on 6 May.

  • Comment number 12.

    It is generally accepted that Brown has had a stuttering start to the campaign - except by your good self who thinks he 'looks confident' and has 'been underestimated'.

    Why not ask him why all the so called 'public' he is meeting are either labour members or have been pre-selected?

  • Comment number 13.

    Sorry is the hardest word - especially for a politician.

    For those of us voters living in England, we must make sure that these mainstream politicians are sorry, terminally sorry.

    For them the party or Party is over.

    Democracy England 2010.

  • Comment number 14.

    Brown is thinking of nothing else but how to stay in Power

    He will do deals with the Lib Dems, the Scots Nats and Plaid Cymru combined if it meant him staying in Power.

    He and his cohorts have been cosying up to them for weeks now, furthermore thay will go along with it.

    It will all then get messy as he will break his promises the Lib Dems will lose all credibilty while the SNP and PC will Blackmail him into parting with huge sums of English Taxpayers money. The Conservatives will finally sweep to power sometime early next Year with a huge majority, leaving a huge vacuum in British Politics for many years as both Lib and Lab will destroy themselves.

    Which will be awful a strong opposition is essentail

    What we have done to deserve this awful man I have no idea but we must have been bad

  • Comment number 15.

    Quotes from what Brown said:

    "I'm also sorry they [Tories] resisted any attempt to reform Parliament, and I think the notion that they have changed has been exposed every day by what they have failed to do."

    Er, what is it that the Conservatives are supposed to have done? They've been out of power for 13 years.

    "But in the end it's got to be the people that make the decision. We'll listen to what the people say,....."

    Oh no, not that line again. How many times have we heard about listening to the people, lessons learned, etc etc. Which Brown then just ignores. He's pathalogically incapable of listening to anybody except Mandleson and himself.

    "...... and I'm fighting for a manifesto that I believe is radical and bold."

    So he's admitting that he needs to make big changes - i.e. everything he's done up to now is wrong! And we are supposed to believe him when he says that he's going to make these changes? I don't think so.


    "I personally take responsibility for saying that we've got to make these changes in the future so that we can ensure that politics is open and people see that public service is what it should be, and that's service to the public."

    Brown is the most secretive PM we've ever had. Even now he denies releasing even the most basic of information requested under the FoI act. Once again, he's asking us to believe that he's ging to change completely his MO of the last 13 years.

    Anyone who believes that will also want to buy some shares in the alpine winter downhill ski resort I'm planning on building in central Florida... Will make you a fortune.

  • Comment number 16.

    Gordon Brown continues to keep saying the Tories would take 6 billion out of the economy. He said it 6 times in your in your interview with him today. What economic planet is he living on? The money that would not be rasied on his NIC tax would still be in the economy, in real peoples pockets to spend as they wish. It's as though he cannot understand there is actually a real economy out there beyond the bunkered walls of government.

  • Comment number 17.

    Bryhers (109)

    :-)

    Perverse? You bet. Nothing better than a bit of that. Not a total pervert though because, in fact, if you buy my Big Pic and my Copter View, and you want to be really perverted ... or (perversely) drop dead rational ... what you'd do is vote TORY. Yikes !!!

  • Comment number 18.

    You can only get so much mileage from hypothetical situations such as hung Parliaments etc.

    However you can take a look at your own English constitutency (Wiki is a good source) and see for yourself what happened last time around and indulge in some fantasy speculation.

    For instance, in my own English Parliamentary constituency, a so-called 'safe' seat, I see from the Wiki entry that at the last General Election only around 50% of the people actually voted.

    If just 25% of those non-voters turned out and voted for say the local independent, then the candidate that the mainstream Party have parachuted in to replace the current incumbent, who incidentally in my constituency has retired in disgrace to his mansion, duckhouse and servants etc, would be blown away.

    It is odd that there are these 'safe seats' when, in theory, the maths say these should not exist.

    Just goes to show just how docile, apathetic and disinterested in politics most English voters are.

    Quite unlike the Scots and Welsh who really have woken up and are taking political control of their respective countries.

  • Comment number 19.

    Just watched the video (wasn't up when I previously posted). If there were any doubts that Brown was an idiot who hasn't even the basic understanding of economics, this interview dispelled them. He went on and on and on and on about "taking £6 billion OUT of the economy".

    Mr Brown - CAN YOU NOT GET IT INTO INTO YOUR FEEBLE LITTLE BRAIN THAT YOU ARE NOT, REPEAT NOT, TAKING THIS MONEY OUT, REPEAT OUT, OF THE ECONOMY. There is the same amount of money in the economy, whether it stays in the private sector (where it should stay), or the government grabs it and then wastes it. Either way, the economy has neither lost nor gained the £6B.

    The fact that Brown simply does not get this basic fact probably explains why our economy is in such a mess.

  • Comment number 20.

    I'm not so sure that Liberal Democrats being kingmakers in a hung parliament is a reliable assumption.

    They have after all to rely on both labour and conservative voters to come out for them depending on which seats they are fighting in.

    They can't be allowed to just sit on the fence any longer and pick up protest votes. They have to be held to account along with the other two major parties and declare which direction they will go.

    If they don't they could well find that their votes disintegrate and go to one of the many other smaller parties. After all Anti EU voters will certainly not vote for a lib-lab pro EU which could sell them out altogether.

    I think there is too much being taken for granted that a hung parliament would be all things to all men. That can only happen if you know the final result and that is far from clear at this stage.

    There is too much fog around at the moment and when it eventually clears we could all find ourselves at the bottom of a cliff.

  • Comment number 21.

    Nick

    Shame you didn't ask him whether he will bring devolution to England.

  • Comment number 22.

    What came over you Nick a good interview.

    Brown has lost the arguement and was waffling.

    How Brown must regret Mandelsons claims on Television when Osbourne totally outflanked him on this one.

    This will cost him not only what is left of his crediblity but thankfully also the Election

  • Comment number 23.

    Nicky, you are very rude press Sir Brown hard on these points and I am warn that if you is interrogate our glorious Vlad some time soon and take this high handings tonality with him, he and agents rough you up big styles! Only kiddings, Nicky – Ya vas lublyu!

    But I am not understand idea of “peoples deciding” and well hung parliaments. In managed democracy of wonderful Vlad – you are look a bit like him Nicky if drop glasses and work out a bit – there is no need coalescence governments. Politicians decide not peoples. People is vote, sure, but politicians is say who people vote for and then decide what do with mandate. Is plenty efficient and mean not have to do deals and have all sorts of persons like Sir Winch Cables in cabinets.

  • Comment number 24.

    2. ir 35
    "a vote for anybody to keep the Tories out plan",

    you got it! thats a great plan ir. anyone but the tories. of course if you are from an elitist millionaire silver spooned background...i could understand how you would like a govt/prime minister whos background represents such a small minority of the population, who are backed/financed by such a small minority of the population...perfectly acceptable that their policies would represent the interests of same such small minority of the population! public services last... big business and millionaires first (but pretend we are all in it together and we understand mr and mrs 15k a year.

  • Comment number 25.

    " It will be up to the people". Like the referendum on the EU treaty/ costitution. Seems we are to get referenda on everything in sight " if Labour is re-elected ", the man is a charlatan totally alien to anything resembling honesty and integrity and still does not realise that his credibility exists only in his own mind. He would ally himself with anyone or anything to hang on to power. Perhaps an alliance with the Lib /Dems would be no bad thing, the alliance would be unworkable,( if the seventies are anything to go by ), short lived, and would consign both Labour and their proposed allies to oblivion for a couple of generations as then, and hopefully for longer.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    At the end of the interview GB talks about the people seeing that he has a PLAN and indeed we have and here it is.

    The British people have a PLAN to get rid of you it's called voting Tory.

    Saga. Just catching up with earlier blogs and see that you are considering voting for Cleggy. Surely this is a wheeze and I expect to see a very fast U-Turn.

    This how it goes, pretend your Alan Johnson and say that all dogs should be insured and ID Tagged and then two hours later say I didn't mean dogs I meant Old People ... something along those lines.





  • Comment number 28.

    so far all these blogs have been about ZaNu_liebour running the election campain , what about what the others want and therefore a reponse from GB about that rather than everyone has to respond to GB.

    As it has been mentioned that one party wants to remove IR35.

    Maybe we could have a Question about Baby P , Kirya Ishaka and others
    let down by Social Services on his watch, like to see the leftise blame that on Thatcher.

    Wakeup smell the Coffee
    Taxi+Minibus for GB+CO


    Ps This blog is getting close to the Killit 25 zone

  • Comment number 29.

    19 - Indeed such a basic point that you'd think as astute interviwer would ask it....

    "But Prime Minister, you are not taking it out of the economy. It is still there, is it not, in the pockets of employees and the spending power of businesses?"

    Perhaps, Nick, if you know any astute interviewers, you could pass the question on to them.

  • Comment number 30.

    "it's a matter for the people"......

    It's a bit like Callaghan saying "We shall take our case to the country" after losing a vote of confidence 28 March 1979.

    Funnily enough, half-baked Labour constitution 'reforms' were at issue then too.

    When Mrs Thatcher made her speech, referring to the undue haste for such major changes, she accused Labour of taking "what may charitably be described as a flexible view of constitutional niceties"

    You can hear Maggie's withering speech at
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7972822.stm

    She went on to say: "Any such changes must be for a new parliament" (at 01:15)

    Oh, happy days!

    It seems Brown only puts his case to "The People' when he has finally run out of options.

  • Comment number 31.

    #12 just think of USSR 30 years ago, we are morph in that direction
    that where they get ALL there ideas of BIG CONTROLLING government (DICTATORSHIP) from, just look at the spin PRAVDA/TASS (BBC) engaged in

  • Comment number 32.

    Comment 5.
    Careful as Nick will blame the issue on Lord Ashcroft.

  • Comment number 33.

    19 - In fact, it's possible to sum up Brown's belief here. Essentially, any money not in the direct hands of the Government, not directly under his control is, somehow, bad and to be minimised.

    Seems to sum him up.....

  • Comment number 34.

    Maybe this is a turing point that galvanises the Public to really vote him out along with the Liberals if they think they are going to Dance with the Devil again ?

    Just think he has lost the election big style now

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    Whoever may be the next PM and whatever constitutional reforms may or may not happen, could we please have a binding clause that says Prime Ministers MUST answer questions during PMQs. If not, can the fiasco be dropped from the Parliamentary schedule.

  • Comment number 37.

    Are these Tory supporting businessmen the same as those who have exported UK jobs by the thousands? So much for their regard to employment in the UK
    The Tories say hey will cut a further £6billion from govt expenditure IN ADDITION to the cuts already penciled in by Darling.If personnel costs in any business is say 50% (a high figure) then a 1% increase in labout costs can be financed by a 0.5% savings in other costs.Surely none of these businessmen would deny that their companies couldn't find a cost saving (other than redundancies) of such a small amount?

  • Comment number 38.

    Excellent point, FrankFisher.

    I'm critical of any politician who doesn't answer a question. There's simply no point in partisanship, as they're all guilty of obfuscation. Brown is normally evasive at PMQs but tends to at least remain vaguely on topic, usually citing tractor statistics from the relevant department to which the question pertains.

    However, on this Purcell business, not a dickie bird. I know nothing of it, besides the gossip on various blogs.

    What is going on?

  • Comment number 39.

    Mathew #12

    Browns cowardly ploy of meeting only dull as ditchwater Labour supporters
    who appear to have the personality of a paper cup,and an inability to say
    anything of the slightest interest,went awry today.

    He and his posse of minders couldnt dodge a heckler,you know a real live
    person! Brown couldnt exit fast enough,and there was no answer coming from him,good grief,he deigning to actually engage with someone from the
    real world!

    The guy wanted to know why his children couldnt get into the schools of
    their choice,asked 3 or 4 times but Brown beat a hasty retreat.

    This is typical Brown behaviour and demonstrates very well his contempt
    for anyone not spouting the party line.

  • Comment number 40.

    Lunch time discussion at my local working mens club:-
    Constitutional Reform - not interested.
    Party funding - not interested.
    Leaders background - not interested.
    Restoring pensions link to national average wage - bring it on!
    Crime and Punishment - Badly in need of overhaul.
    Immigration - Needs to be taken out of 'taboo-land' and discussed properly.
    Political correctness - Gone beyond a joke.
    Health and Safety - as above
    Surveillance society - Stop treating us all like potential terrorists.
    ID cards - Waste of money.
    NHS - Too many managers.

    The list goes on. Politicians - especially Party leaders - need to tell us more about the things that really matter to us who live in the real World.
    But most important is the need to be HONEST.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    its a matter for the people is it?

    i think its a matter for gordon brown to stop spinning and speak directly to the general public on the streets, as we saw today, when given a question about school places by a concerned parent, brown just walked off and got in his car.

    how many more times do i need to post this before one of my posts gets accepted?

  • Comment number 43.

    "31. At 6:59pm on 07 Apr 2010, IR35_SURVIVOR wrote:
    #12 just think of USSR 30 years ago, we are morph in that direction
    that where they get ALL there ideas of BIG CONTROLLING government (DICTATORSHIP) from, just look at the spin PRAVDA/TASS (BBC) engaged in "

    I believe you just may be right. Read the very first line in Nick's posting - "Gordon Brown has conceded for the first time that it is "a matter for the people" to decide...."

    CONCEDE?!!!!! There is nothing that Brown can concede - the power always has been, is, and (hopefully) always will be with us, the electorate. The way that Brown used the word 'concede' is if he really believes that HE controls everything - including us.

    This man is truly dangerous to what's left of our democracy - he must go on May 6th.

  • Comment number 44.

    Cameron had some nerve standing outside the houses of parliament claiming to be anti establishment " we are not for Them" pointing at parliament 'we are for you' meaning 'The great ignored'(whoever they are). As the name 'Conservative' suggests They are the establishment party. The party of the Status Quo. Their 'anti-establishment' call to change as little as possible proves it. This call for electoral reform from Labour is a little late though. I hope they do have proper reform. PR elected second chamber and AV parliament to keep constituency would be nice.

  • Comment number 45.

    Gordon, I do not remember voting for you to be prime minister but I certainly will remember voting you out.
    Thanks for ruining my Pension, over taxation on everything in Britain. Your lot have had years to make this country good, but you have failed at every turn. Do us all a favour and leave "it's the right thing to do"

  • Comment number 46.

    33.
    "any money not in the direct hands of the Government, not directly under his control (brown) is, somehow, bad and to be minimised".
    --------------

    of course the truth is that the govt have announced a "mutual manifesto" unveiling plans to allow people to own and run a plethora of local services including council estates and SureStart centres.
    The plan includes measures to allow users to take over the running of their local services. It has been known for some time that the government would put mutualism at the centre of its manifesto, but not that the government would extend their aspiration to mutualise health and social care to council housing and SureStart.
    Labour will also announce that 115 Labour groups or councils will commit to becoming "co-operative councils" along the lines of Lambeth, which is currently consulting on plans to make all its services part-run by its users.


    so perhaps you would have been better by prefixing post 33 and all your posts with the heading "tory propaganda"..... sigh

  • Comment number 47.

    It is indeed a matter for the people, Gordy has delayed his day of destiny for as long as he could. But no longer. The turkeys that followed him are now knocking on the door of the Bernard Matthews factory. No vote required from them now, their Xmas is here.

    Good to see Tony Blair pop back into the UK last week to help in the election process, though it probably wasn't for the Unite-Labour party. Looking very tanned, Teflon Tony has now become Tango Tony, and is apparently charging £250K a speech. I'm not sure what he could possibly say in a speech that could be worth that amount of money to anyone. But as long as it's not my money I'm not too bothered. Interesting to hear him say that the conservatives would say whatever was necessary to get elected. He is certainly talking with the benefit of practical experience here !

    Also interesting to see Mandelson slither out of his stone last week as well, to describe the business leaders and tories NI policy as "deception" and "the numbers not adding up". I seem to recall that he was forced to resign from the cabinet over remarkably similar problems with his mortgage application. The next few weeks will hopefully be the End of the Peer Show.

    I caught a snippet of Gordy being interviewed at Microsoft today, and he said something about supporting an elected house of lords. I wonder if Mandy knows about this ? Whilst we're on the subject of democratic reform, who is Mandelson democratically accountable to ?

    Blair, Brown and Mandelson - yesterdays people for will hopefully be soon yesterdays government.

  • Comment number 48.

    5:45pm on 07 Apr 2010, Zydeco wrote:
    "Forgive me -a mere layman- but as this £6 billion doesn't actually exist until 2011, when employers start deducting it from workers pay, how is Cameron 'removing' it from the economy?
    Also, if Brown has already 'spent' it, is this another example of Labour spending money it is hasn't got?
    I've heard nothing from any of the major parties to attract my vote so far and if the Party leaders are merely going to carry on spouting mantras, then I'm off to the pub till May 6th."

    The debate is still about when to cut,not if.To pay for tax cuts in 2011 of 6 billion you would need to cut that much extra now if you are to maintain your policy of cutting the deficit/debt and satisfying the market.

    Conventional economic opinion is that with the recovery still fragile,you mantain spending until it is secure.

  • Comment number 49.

    #24 so its OK for harriet Harman then to be in the Cabinet.

    I'm not interested in the politices of envy rubbish that you pedal,

    if they are up to the job , have the vision and are motivated by reward for the country and not themselves then I do not care what there background is, as long as they put the UK in its total first. Something Blair and Brown have NOT done, they have chipped away with every minority issue that they can get support for , leaving the silent majority to rot.

    Brown does not understand MR+MRS 15K he showed that with the 10% fiasco.

    anyway mr+mrs is not very ZaNu_Liebour and they do not understand that either

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    Re 12 & 39

    Glad you noticed that. Unfortunately that is the way this whole campaign is going to be run. Party faithful - of whatever ilk - will be bussed in to form a 'random' crowd of 'ordinary' voters, who will cheer and applaud every morsel their Leader dispenses.
    Even the television debates that journalists are drooling over - but most people really couldn't give a fig about - are going to be conducted in the same manner.
    What is it about Joe Public that makes politicians so scared of facing the real World?
    Couldn't be because we might ask the questions that journalists won't ask, could it?

  • Comment number 52.

    You seem to be trying to change the narrative from the hot political story of the business-bashing jobs tax to something obscure about "constitutional reform". Which is exactly what New Labour spinners want.

    On the road with just one political leader who soon won't even be an MP is kind of cock-eyed.

    Today's final PMQs focussed on helicopters and defence cuts, the pension fund robbery and more business leaders backing the stand against the NI jobs tax. Plenty there to get your teeth into?

    http://theorangepartyblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/end-of-clown-brown-and-his-clunking.html

  • Comment number 53.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 54.

    #37 BBC report other week about the BA airline strike.

    BA pays around 29k plus perks

    Virgin arouund 15k plus perks

    Air Asia plus think thats what they were called around 6k without perks
    and only getting paid if you turn up.

    There lies the problem to the export of jobs

    you cannot force companies to keep jobs well ok in the USSR they did , but in the end it fell apart, you have to set the right environement to keep them its that simple it global, what do you want to do turn the world into one communist state ?

  • Comment number 55.

    #44 this is a clue to the great ignored

    1) male
    2) father
    3) motorist
    4) hardworker
    5) taxpayer
    6) extended Family of the Father.
    7) Soldier,Sailer or RAF
    8) white

  • Comment number 56.

    #48 "Conventional economic opinion is that with the recovery still fragile,you mantain spending until it is secure"

    not sure that is true,

    but that depends on the level of debt you start with as well,
    ours is far to high, money is being litterally wasted by HMG, a perfect
    example is the Family Courts CAFCA-SS and the CSA or whatever its called today, becasue they refuse to address the REAL issues and just blame Fathers for all the problems.

  • Comment number 57.

    Comedia
    "Mr Brown - CAN YOU NOT GET IT INTO INTO YOUR FEEBLE LITTLE BRAIN THAT YOU ARE NOT, REPEAT NOT, TAKING THIS MONEY OUT, REPEAT OUT, OF THE ECONOMY. There is the same amount of money in the economy, whether it stays in the private sector (where it should stay), or the government grabs it and then wastes it. Either way, the economy has neither lost nor gained the £6B."

    I know it`s hard to understand even wthout recourse to capitals,but the £6 billion the government intended to gain in revenue in 2011, will need to be compensated for in 2010 by additional cuts,otherwise the plans for deficit/debt reduction and the threat of sovereign debt crisis will remain.

    The problem is the recovery,still fragile,although promising better things according to the OECD.Cutting now and deeper threatens to put us back into recession.So money is being taken out of the economy now,will the economy be strong enough for it to be restored in 2011 by intended cuts in NI? We don`t know,that`s why there`s a need for caution.

  • Comment number 58.

    48. bryhers

    "The debate is still about when to cut,not if.To pay for tax cuts in 2011 of 6 billion you would need to cut that much extra now if you are to maintain your policy of cutting the deficit/debt and satisfying the market.

    Conventional economic opinion is that with the recovery still fragile,you mantain spending until it is secure."
    ======================================

    Their seems to be a growing group of prominent business leaders who do not appear agree with what you confidently describe as "conventional economic wisdom". If you make it more expensive for companies to employ people then it seems obvious that this will limit any increase in the numbers of people employed, or possibly even reduce them.

    A you say yourself, the tax would not be collected until 2011 anyway, so I'm not even sure this £6 BN is real. It was less than what the government borrow in two weeks to "secure the recovery" so in the scheme of things its not particularly significant money wise.

    How does £6 BN to the government secure the recovery anyway ? More growth in the public sector perhaps. You must also realise the that the public sector pay NI as well, so the bill to the taxpayer for teh public sector will increase. How does this secure the recovery ?

    The £50 BN in interest each year on the national debt alone must pose some sort of threat to the recovery as well I would have thought - even if it was "conventional economic opinion" that helped get us into this situation.

  • Comment number 59.

    #52 yeah Helicopters the alleged "New" 22 will not be operational in 2 years as suggested by Quinten Davis, it has all the Hallmarks of another MK3 fiasco based on political expediancy, some newhound should be digging deep into this

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    Moderators - why was my post 43 referred? It was on topic (quoted Nick's first line), did not insult or slag off anybody, referred in a complimentary manner to a previous post. So why was it referred?

  • Comment number 62.

    When will Gordon Brown meet an ordinary voted not picked by the Labour party. I mean he is the most unpopular PM ever if he met a real voter they would give him some abuse.

  • Comment number 63.

    In the last General Election, 2005, on a 61% turnout, The Labour Party had 37% of the votes, and took 55% of the Seats (356) in the House of Commons.
    The Conservatives had 34% of the votes and took 31% of the Seats (198). The LibDems were similarly deprived of an honest allocation (62).
    On the Gallagher Index Of Disproportionality, indeed on all appropriate statistical índices, Labour benefited disproportionately from the Boundary Commission’s arrangement of constituencies.
    Even the pollster Peter Kellner (no friend of the Tories) estimates that the Tories could gain two million more votes than Labour in England and still get the same number of seats.

    I believe this is the right time for an honest allocation of seats, regularizing the number of votes available between constituencies. This CAN be achieved in a First Past The Post methodology as long as the Boundary Commission updates boundaries frequently, and sensibly addresses the variance in constituency sizes (The average constituency size is approximately 74,000 registered voters, but they vary in size from the smallest, Na h-Eileanan an Iar - 22,200 voters, to the largest - The Isle of Wight approx. 110,000 voters.)

  • Comment number 64.

    55.
    or the CONservative great ignored.
    1) male or female on low incomes
    2) gay or lesbians
    3) pro europeans
    4) any gay or lesbians wanting to stay in a b&b
    5) anyone who doesnt want to see a british government allied to right wing facist parties in europe
    6) anyone who doesnt want a foreign secretary who has publicly made anti german and anti french jokes
    7) anyone hoping for another rise in the minimum wage
    8) anyone who wants to see maintaining public services prioritised over tax cuts for big business.
    9)anyone who doesnt want a chancelor who has said ‘No one takes pleasure from people making money out of the misery of others but that is a function of capitalist markets.’
    10)anyone who doesnt want Google or Microsoft to host NHS patient records

    11)anyone who doesnt want a party with a history of govt with 18 per cent interest rates and thousands of repossessions
    12)anyone who doesnt want a return to hunting with dogs (tearing foxes apart for fun)
    13.anyone who doesnt want public funds used to give the richest 3,000 families in Britain a massive tax cut worth £2 billion on their country estates

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    Bryhers at 48 and reply to Comedia at 57.

    Thanks for your response.

    The problem that I and many others have is that all this debate about NI and cuts now or next year, is beyond the comprehension of a lot of voters. Its not a a lack of intelligence on their part it comes down to the same reason the majority of people don't read the financial pages of the newspapers. It is of no interest to them!
    What does grab their attention though is what they have left in the pay packet at the end of the month and whether they can afford the latest price rises.
    Now you and I are aware of the interconnectedness of these things, but the average Joe or Jill switches off.
    If politicians want to 'connect' to people they are gonna have to talk at their level. How is this going to affect their pay? How is it going to affect their job? etc. Throwing generalities about without detail means nothing. Take the rhetoric out of it. Stop talking telephone number scale figures. Put it in a form the average voter can relate to.

  • Comment number 67.


    Their seems to be a growing group of prominent business leaders who do not appear agree with what you confidently describe as "conventional economic wisdom". If you make it more expensive for companies to employ people then it seems obvious that this will limit any increase in the numbers of people employed, or possibly even reduce them.

    A you say yourself, the tax would not be collected until 2011 anyway, so I'm not even sure this £6 BN is real. It was less than what the government borrow in two weeks to "secure the recovery" so in the scheme of things its not particularly significant money wise.

    As much as I appreciate Marks and Spencer`s,Stuart Rose should stick to balance sheets,double entry bookeeping and profit and loss rather than give opinions on economics for which he is not qualified.

    To quote 60 or even 600 business leaders is an appeal to authority not to reason.If you want infallibility go to church,for the economy,a tax increase on workers and employers is likely to be more sustainable in 2011 when the recovery is secure than unspecified cuts this year when it is fragile.It is of course a question of judgement,the majority of economist`s favour the government`s position,the opinions of business leaders is no better or worse than the man in the street.

    Private capital is responsible for the crisis,not just here but everywhere.Why should their judgement be respected above that of other people`s?

  • Comment number 68.

    67. At 9:01pm on 07 Apr 2010, bryhers wrote:


    .......As much as I appreciate Marks and Spencer`s,Stuart Rose should stick to balance sheets,double entry bookeeping and profit and loss rather than give opinions on economics for which he is not qualified.........

    *********************************

    Sorry to be 'picky' but Brown is even less qualified! Doesn't seem to stop him giving opinions though.

  • Comment number 69.

    Bryhers 57

    "...the £6 billion the government intended to gain in revenue in 2011, will need to be compensated for in 2010 by additional cuts,otherwise the plans for deficit/debt reduction and the threat of sovereign debt crisis will remain."

    Bryhers, I'm well aware that you have a particular party to support here, and, correspondingly another one to oppose. But you are arguing that you cannot achieve a planned revenue reduction in year 2 without there having been a corresponding expenditure saving already achieved in year 1. Hence your effort to defend the notion that the Conservative proposed cancellation of Labour's NI rise represents a removal of £6bn from the economy. Now, while it would be nice for governments to be able to operate with this degree of conservatism, the fact remains that they don't. I cannot think of a single occasion in my lifetime when a tax reduction was achieved via a hypothecated expenditure cut in the previous year. While it is prudent to plan balanced tax cuts and expenditure cuts that are, as far as possible, at least cash-flow neutral, your assertion that a full year between the two cuts is required, is entirely specious. The proposed NI reduction therefore does NOT represent the removal of £6bn from the economy; your suggestion that it does is just propaganda.

    "...the threat of sovereign debt crisis will remain."

    Leaving aside the misleading nature of the first part of your assertions, it is interesting that you acknowledge that our debt problems are sufficient that a sovereign debt crisis is a realistic threat. That's quite a thing for a Labour blogger to admit!

  • Comment number 70.

    67. bryhers


    "As much as I appreciate Marks and Spencer`s,Stuart Rose should stick to balance sheets,double entry bookeeping and profit and loss rather than give opinions on economics for which he is not qualified.

    To quote 60 or even 600 business leaders is an appeal to authority not to reason.If you want infallibility go to church,for the economy,a tax increase on workers and employers is likely to be more sustainable in 2011 when the recovery is secure than unspecified cuts this year when it is fragile.It is of course a question of judgement,the majority of economist`s favour the government`s position,the opinions of business leaders is no better or worse than the man in the street.

    Private capital is responsible for the crisis,not just here but everywhere.Why should their judgement be respected above that of other people`s? "

    ==================================

    Why indeed, but why seem to have great respect for Gordy's judgement, who is a historian not an economist I beleive, and his own off-off accounting methods involved with PFI are more Enron than M&S.

    Like it or not, the private sector will create the growth in the economy, not the public sector - even those companys with managers and CEOs who are not economists. Private capital did indeed cause some of the problems but the over bloated public sector with its raft of politically correct non jobs with copper bottomed pensions have to significantly contributed to the problem as well, and will help keep us there for a very long time. And it wasn't the private sector that created this situation, it was the government.

    I notice that you didn't comment on the £50 BN interest comment being a threat to the recovery as well. I would think even your economist friends would agree with that

    Finally, I don't understand the "if I want infalibilty go to church" comment - you have lost me there.

  • Comment number 71.

    conedia @ 61

    Yes, what's happening? My harmless little 26 (re RM100) was published fine and has now been referred. Guess that was the "previous post" you were complimenting in your disappeared 43. Thank you anyway. Tangled web we weave, we really do, when people start this monkey business. Real pain too. If people don't like a post (if it upsets or angers them) they should do a post themselves saying why. Debate. But no matter, to the topic at hand; as Gordon says, it IS a matter for the people, this Election. One thing the people have to get their heads around is that promising all sorts of goodies without a clue of how to pay for them, as all the parties are doing (particularly the Tories with this NI stunt), is not big and it's not clever. Money doesn't grow on trees, not the last time I checked, and to pretend it does is to play the public for a fool. I say it's not clever, this "treat us like toddlers" approach, but it can pay dividends; we know this, unfortunately. It demeans our politics, however, and I for one am growing a little weary of it. Let's hope the campaign improves as we get more into it.

  • Comment number 72.

    Only a dissembling debt junky would pretend that a growing economy is necessarily contingent on GDP growth based on debt.

    For a decade home grown inflation due to profligate government/welfare expenditure has been eclipsed by imported deflation from the Asian tigers as they grew their economies by producing more for less .This trend is reversing and aquired debt will turn from a kerbstone into a mountain on its way to the taxpayers despite a recovery in the economy.

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.


    :12pm on 07 Apr 2010, Zydeco wrote:
    67. At 9:01pm on 07 Apr 2010, bryhers wrote:


    .......As much as I appreciate Marks and Spencer`s,Stuart Rose should stick to balance sheets,double entry bookeeping and profit and loss rather than give opinions on economics for which he is not qualified.........

    *********************************
    Sorry to be 'picky' but Brown is even less qualified! Doesn't seem to stop him giving opinions though."

    Quite right,but given Brown`s presbytarian background I suspect years of patient study and exposure to informed opinion of his mandarins.Otherwise,how in the opinion of economists and the international community did he respond appropriately to the crisis.

    As for Rose and the 600,I can do no better than quote John Maynard himself.

    "The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”
    John Maynard Keynes"

  • Comment number 75.

    bryhers @ 67

    "Private capital is responsible for the crisis,not just here but everywhere.Why should their judgement be respected above that of other people`s?"

    Exactly so. It's just a political act by a bunch of people who are motivated primarily by personal gain; wish to see the Tories back for the very simple reason that they expect to enjoy better personal prospects if such were to happen. Not a surprise, not particularly reprehensible, not a big deal. Yawn yawn, in fact. It's the equivalent of the Unions pulling some high profile stunt to help Labour; which is something which isn't happening of course, quite the opposite. Says a lot about who we should listen to and who we shouldn't, when you think about it. Says that on matters relating to the economy, the thoughts of Derek Simpson should perhaps outrank those of Sir Stuart Rose. Knighthood notwithstanding.

  • Comment number 76.

    SP 70


    See my reply to Zydeco on businssmen.

    As for public/private sector,don`t fall for the private sector metaphysic,it puts you in the same catregory as Susan Croft. Both public and private sectots create growth,how can it be otherwise?,The public sector is responsible for £200 Billion of orders annually.

    The economic role of the public sector is especially crucial in times of crisis.It is the only institution powerful enough to mobilize the instruments necessary.A government that believes otherwise invites catastrophe.

  • Comment number 77.

    38. At 7:20pm on 07 Apr 2010, One_Lars_Melvang wrote:
    Excellent point, FrankFisher.

    I'm critical of any politician who doesn't answer a question.....
    ...................................
    Unfortunately its not just Brown that can be accused of answering all the questions he is asked. In fact the last person to try this election-losing technique was probably Michael Foot. Brown was making the points he wanted as you say. Yesterday Clegg did the same with his student audience and Cameron is prone to avoid answering any question of detail.

    I fear that you will be disappointed if you are awaiting candid and direct answers to any question.

  • Comment number 78.

    Please before you vote remember the damage that Thatcher did to this country.

  • Comment number 79.

    JRP Jerry;

    The conservatives have promised to cut this year rather than continue the planned increase in expenditure.If NI is to be reduced next year the cuts will need to be correspondingly deeper.

    In economics there`s no such thing as a free lunch,only Cameron and Osborne pretend otherwise.

  • Comment number 80.

    Slightly off topic...but where was this interview filmed? I couldn't work out from the views the exact building/location. Is it a public area?

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    In your interview with Gordon Brown he said the national insurance rise was needed it was for the things like the national health service and police etc to protect these and stopping the rise would mean they would suffer, but if looked at logicaly these labour intensive services will be paying a great deal more in contributions out of the same budget so they will be in affect getting a big cut in budget, this is the usual smoke and mirrors to fool the public.

  • Comment number 83.

    lefty #24

    I believe that I have the gist of that post,that Conseratives being rich,
    especially Cameron and Osbourne,means that they are unfit to govern.

    Furthermore,they can only pretend to "understand Mr.&Mrs.on 15k a year.

    So,from that viewpoint,how can any politician truly understand any of us?
    Has Brown,Darling,Balls et al any experience of managing on a low salary?

    Now,before you write me off as a well heeled tory lover,I must tell you
    that I have never voted Conservative,but I certainly wont be voting for
    Brown and the Labour party this election.

    You seem obsessed with peoples wealth,envious of it,but if Osbourne for
    instance gave away all his wealth to charity,how would that improve your
    life?

    This politics of envy which seems embedded in your soul is in the end
    soul destroying,and you know that many within Labour are extremely well
    off.Does that make them unfit for public office?

  • Comment number 84.

    #73

    I absolutely refute your claim that my post broke the House Rules. You have emailed me to say my remarks were "potentially defamatory" - which they were certainly not.

    I was referring to a story published by the BBC where Nick Clegg claims (and I'm directly quoting) "voting either Labour or Conservative would be a "vote for corrupt politics" "

    See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8606650.stm

    This is the first General Election where blogging has formed part of the process. The BBC is required to be scrupulously impartial - but your heavy handed moderation suggests that you are preventing fair comment on stories the BBC has itself published.

  • Comment number 85.

    JRP Jerry

    "...the threat of sovereign debt crisis will remain."

    "Leaving aside the misleading nature of the first part of your assertions, it is interesting that you acknowledge that our debt problems are sufficient that a sovereign debt crisis is a realistic threat. That's quite a thing for a Labour blogger to admit!"

    "Why would I not admit it? although the threat is less imminent than the opposition were urging a few weeks ago until they discovered Father Christmas.

    British debt is in long dated bonds due in fifteen and twenty years unlike Greek bonds which are short dated.However,the bond market could still move against us if the debt/deficit reduction plan is unrealistic.Much depends on the course of the recovery,there is no absolute right answer so caution is advisable. What must be avoided is policy made in a panic like Black Wednesday,in the current economic climate that would invite catastrophe.

    By the way I am not a Labour blogger.My judgement belongs to me and no-one else.

  • Comment number 86.

    The LibLaBaConocracy will soon find themselves on the receiving end of HUGE Bnp exit poll in their backward constituencies.

  • Comment number 87.

    Nick robinson the mcaverty spokesperson, who struts around spouting his opinions on blogs and anywhere else the media will have him but never presses the great leader on anything. What a cop out and what a load of pay for little effort.

  • Comment number 88.

    jr perry @ six nine

    "The proposed NI reduction therefore does NOT represent the removal of £6bn from the economy"

    Mmm, I wonder. Good to see you back on Board, though, I must say. Promised me you'd stay on my back and then jumped straight off! Can't operate properly without that particular burden. So, polls not moving much, your 75C still works as an extreme end possibility. The big news (for me) is the OECD saying that we're going to come roaring out of recession at a rate of knots far in excess of the developed world average. Guess you saw that. Not just big news but GOOD news. For everyone. Especially for the Conservatives. (1) it undermines Labour's fiscal responsibility message; reinforces the C's own tax giveaway stance, and (2) it means that if/when they take over, things will be on the up and up and they can lap up the credit. When you put this together with the fact that Brown and Darling's crisis stewardship over the last couple of years has (probably and hope and prayfully) headed off the Great Depression which looked inevitable, then we're looking at an extremely healthy start position for Cameron and his team. I believe it's what they call a golden legacy.

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    #57 bryhers

    You seem to completely misuderstadn conedia's point at #19.

    Labour/Mandelson have been clever by referring to the planned NI increase withdrawal sa 'taking £6 billion out of the economy'.

    It's nothing of the sort as all that happens is that 6 billion has stayed in the nation's hands rather than the governments.

    Its an outrageous deception - one that has fooled you, several others on her and the likes of Nick Robinson et al.

    NR -in future when pressing GB in future interviews remember this one that you missed big time.

    Rather than looking very self-important on News at ten, could you do voters a favour by pressing on these lies in future when they appear (there are plenty of them)?

    That would be a very good service from the BBC...............

  • Comment number 91.

    Bryhers 79

    "JRP Jerry"

    You've made that 'error' before. It's jrperry. See the top of this message.

    "The conservatives have promised to cut this year rather than continue the planned increase in expenditure."

    Correct. But this is to do with reducing the deficit and nothing to do with the NI reduction.

    "If NI is to be reduced next year the cuts will need to be correspondingly deeper."

    Correct. However, the additional cuts to accommodate the NI reduction are required next year, not this year, contrary to your assertions in your earlier posts.

    "In economics there`s no such thing as a free lunch...."

    Correct.

    "...only Cameron and Osborne pretend otherwise."

    I don't see anywhere in your posts where you have managed to establish this point. It is certainly a complete non sequitur from the statements that precede it in your 79.

  • Comment number 92.

    It's all very well talking of constitutional reform, but what about people like me who, in effect, are disenfranchised in my ward. Why? Because I have a choice of the three main parties or the BNP.
    As none of the main parties are worthy of my vote and the BNP certainly won't get it, what do I do?
    There was originally a good local Independent who was going to stand, but for various reasons, is no longer a candidate.
    So do I abstain? Spoil my ballot paper? Or, vote for a candidate I don't support?
    I am firmly in the 'Anyone but Brown' camp but really cannot support either Cameron or Clegg.
    Is it possible to register to vote in a different ward to that in which I live? There are two adjacent ones that do have a wider selection of candidates.

  • Comment number 93.

    Some polls show that the #1 item concerning voters are 'national issues'.

    Which is interesting because 'national' means 'of nation' and firstly you have to decide which nation you are thinking about, in the political sense.

    That is, England, Scotland, Wales or 'Britain' or possibly some combination thereof.

    The Conservative, Labour and Liberal-Democrat Parties all fully support 'Britain', which has effectively proven thus far, to mean the total exclusion of England, politically speaking.

    It is a great pity that English voters are not a bit more clued up on this because they would then understand that political England is going nowhere whilst these three parties remain the 'mainstream'.

    Democracy England 2010.

  • Comment number 94.

    "It's a matter for the people" is stating the obvious - but it's important to carefully consider what is actually on offer - and why.

    Reading the blogs, some people seem to think Brown's promise of a fixed term parliament is a good idea. But what this means in practice is that a failed regime (such as this one) can limp on to the bitter end, with no hope of an early election.

    The House of Commons and The Government are not the same thing. In 1979, Callaghan's discredited government was put out of its misery after losing a vote of confidence thereby forcing a much needed general election.

    It's very unusual for a governing party to lose a vote of confidence - but increasingly possible with a hung parliament or minority administration.

    Having the power to boot out a failed government is a crucial safeguard against tyranny. A fixed term parliament benefits no one - except a failed Prime Minister such as Gordon Brown.

  • Comment number 95.

    Bryhers 85

    "By the way I am not a Labour blogger.My judgement belongs to me and no-one else."

    If you say so.

    We don't seem to be in a great deal of disagreement on your post 85, though our differences of expression tend to exagerate that disagreement.

    However....

    "British debt is in long dated bonds due in fifteen and twenty years unlike Greek bonds which are short dated."

    I have seen you deploy this argument before. You would do well to check out the Debt Management Office's website.

    As of close of business yesterday, the UK Government had £920bn of gilt-edged stock in circulation. Of that,

    £169bn is due for redemption between now and 2013

    £162bn is due for redemption between 2013 and 2016

    £253bn is due for redemption between 2016 and 2025.

    My point is that it is actually rather less than 40% of the total that is due for redemption more than fifteen years from now. In that sense, we are rather more sensitive to the short term market than your statement suggests.

  • Comment number 96.

    #93 .. People are concerned with national issues. ... I think thats true .. international concerns have never won .. or lost ..general elections in this country.. since 1906, and probably before, its been the so-called "bread and butter" issues that have concentrated the minds of the electorate. But, none of the parties have even really started to address the significant national issues.. like how much longer is the appeasement of the bankers going to be allowed to go on?... like how will anyone deal with the desperate problem of an ageing population? ..and will anyone be brave enough to put in place a way of dealing with this timebomb that's going to hit us in less than a generation's time ? ... and how will we, as a nation, deal with climate change in any meaningful joined-up way?
    None of the parties currently scrabbling for our votes have the faintest ideas about any of these issues. The Daily Express, I think, on its front page this morning said that the choice in the forthcoming election was between Hope and Fear ... its much more serious than that ... its about our survival as a nation or oblivion ..

  • Comment number 97.

    #54 Funny how the Germans seem to manage to export without trashing the right and conditions of ordinary people?

    Interesting stat on one of the Preston threads : 48 of 206 new tory candidates in winnable seats have worked in the square mile.

    I think it's plain to see where Tories priorities lie - can these really be the same self righteous cranks howling about inefficiency in the Public Sector?

  • Comment number 98.

    Just as a matter of interest, if Brown is seriously proposing a fixed-term parliament, does he also propose a fixed-term Prime Minister to prevent someone else taking over mid term?

    No? What a surprise!

  • Comment number 99.

    sagamix 88

    "Promised me you'd stay on my back and then jumped straight off!"

    There was no need. Your posts over the last few days have been very helpful to the Conservative cause; albeit that I can't imagine that was on purpose, there was little point in slowing you down.

    "The big news (for me) is the OECD saying that we're going to come roaring out of recession at a rate of knots far in excess of the developed world average. Guess you saw that."

    Nope, I saw what the OECD actually said, not what you wish they said.

    "GOOD news .... Brown and Darling's crisis stewardship over the last couple of years has .... headed off the Great Depression which looked inevitable .... looking at an extremely healthy start position for Cameron and his team .... golden legacy."

    Sometimes I wonder if you are trying to finish me off through remote initiation of apoplexy. We have just had a recession in which we have done markedly worse overall than most of our neighbours (indeed, worse than all of our neighbours, depending how you measure it), in which we have lost nearly 15% of our GDP, and only lost that little because the economy is propped up on a mountain of government debt. We have a deficit which, as a proportion of GDP, is exceeded only by Greece and Iceland. As Bryhers and I seem just to have agreed, we have a modest chance of a sovereign debt crisis. Need I go on? High unemployment.... low productivity....

    .... and this you call a "golden legacy"!!!!!!!

    I'll be nice. It's late and I can see you have had a terrible day on here. Let's just say I admire your ability to smile through the pain.

  • Comment number 100.

    Nick,

    I know you are Political Editor for BIASED Broadcasting Corporation, but you know you guys really are stupid. You continue to present all your news on the basis that the coming election is a three party race (well two if you ignore the Lib Dems, which most people will). This is just not true. Can I remind you that based on the BBC’s Charter one of the BBC's core values is that reporting should be independent, impartial and honest. You are so wrong to continually imply that this election is between Labour, and the Conservatives. You are going to finish up with egg on your face, because whilst I am pretty sure we will finish up with a hung Parliament, it will be UKIP who the other parties have to turn to for support. Nick how about some “independent, impartial, honest” reporting on the way UKIP are gaining huge support. Truth is the UK people don’t want to be controlled by a bunch of Europeans, and we don’t like the enforced EU regulation / laws, or the mass EU immigration of our country.

 

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